A NEW international cruise terminal in South Korea's Yeosu City, due to be ready by next March, is expected to give the destination an edge in courting foreign visitors.
Located in Yeosu New Port and in the heart of the World Expo 2012 site, the EXPO Site Terminal will be divided into three separate sections.
The International Passenger Terminal and International Ferry Terminal, contributing a combined 3,274m2 of floor space, will be capable of handling up to 80,000 tonnes and 15,000 tonnes of ship hardware, respectively.
The Costa Ferry Terminal, meanwhile, will be able to cater to three to four ships of 300-2,500 tonnes each.
According to Kang Seung-won, director of Tourism, Yeosu City, the EXPO Site Terminal has already attracted attention from several cruise operators.
“Although Yeosu is a maritime city, with many islands (317 islands) and a national marine park, its cruise industry is not yet well-developed,” he said.
“The good news is, Star Cruises and Royal Caribbean, as well as five cruise companies in China and Japan, have shown interest in making Yeosu one of the ports of call in their itineraries next year.”
“We expect international arrivals to grow substantially once cruises start calling at Yeosu,” Kang added.
During the Expo season from May 12 to August 12 next year, the new cruise terminal is expected to handle 50,000 arrivals from China, 10,000 from Japan and the rest of Asia, and 10,000 from the US and Europe.
Kang noted that these inbound cruise arrivals would be able to avail of convenient connections to the rest of the country, such as the KTX rail transportation system. The KTX system links the cruise terminal to Seoul in approximately three hours, while a ride to Yeosu Airport takes 30 minutes.
To raise awareness of Yeosu as a potential destination for cruises, Yeosu City tourism representatives, in partnership with Korea Tourism Organization, are participating in the three-day Cruise Shipping Asia trade show and conference at Marina Bay Sands, Singapore.